1994 – 10 Oct Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) Civil War Battle of Bull Run Fought on John F. Gowen Farm;
2) Annie B. Dobbin Gowens Studied Family Heritage for 50 Years;
3) Donald Eugene Going Awarded Carnegie Medal for Heroism;

All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters:   https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/

Volume 6, No. 2 October 1994

1)  Civil War Battle of Bull Run
Fought on John F. Gowen Farm

It was on the farm of John F. Gowen that Gen. Thomas Jonathan Jackson received the name “Stonewall.” Long after John F. Gowen had removed to the Southside of Virginia, the District of Columbia and the city of Washington was created just across the Potomac River in 1801. The Confederate troops were just 30 miles short of the Union capital when they repulsed the Union army in the Battle of Manassas there July 21, 1862. The Federals retreated in panic back to the Potomac.

In the second engagement, the Battle of Bull Run, fought August 29-30 the armies again swept across land that once belonged to John F. Gowen and his father-in-law.

John F. Gowen, son of William W. Gowen and Catherine Gowen, was born in Stafford County, Virginia about 1709.

He was married about 1728 to Mary W. Keife, daughter of Cornelius Keife and Elizabeth Keife. Keife, an Irish emigrant who arrived in Virginia in 1709, was contemporary with  William W. Gowen in Stafford County. He was shown as holding a patent to land “on the north side of the Occoquan River near Ridgewell.”

According to “Southern Lineages” by Adeline Evans Wynn, Cornelius Keife acquired other property there. She wrote, “On January 11, 1714-15, he was also granted land in Stafford
County on the south side of Neapsco Run. Cornelius Keife, in partnership with Richard Kirkland received a grant “of 268 acres 23rd, 11th month, 1714.” He and his wife later removed to Brunswick County, Virginia. There on May 3, 1739, “Cornelius Keife came into Court and made oath that he had never made use of his Importation Right and that this is the first time; and that it is now 30 years ago since his importation which is ordered to be certified,” according to Brunswick County Court Order Book 1.

Fairfax County was created in 1742, and John F. Gowen and his brother, Thomas Gowen found themselves in the new county. John F. Gowen was mentioned in a grant to William
Ellzey dated November 27, 1743 as living adjacent to the Ellzey property “on Wolf Run and Ox Road.”

John F. Gowen and Mary W. Keife Gowen on March 5, 1744 deeded to Thomas Hord the 56 acres of land he had inherited from William W. Gowen, according to Fairfax County Deed
Book A-1, page 551. He transferred to Hord the battlefield land described as “part of a tract granted to William Gowen, deceased, father to said Gowen, from the Proprietors  November 12, 1725.”

“John Goen, son of William, and Mary his wife,” sold 44 acres to Thomas Ford March 6, 1744, according to Fairfax County Deed Book A, page 351. John F. Gowen continued to live on a tract of land he had received from his father-in-law, Cornelius Keife in July 1744 when he sold more holdings to Thomas Hord.

On July 6, 1744 John F. Gowen received Grant No. 368 for 155 acres “on a branch of the Popeshead and Pohick Rivers, adjacent to Thomas Ford and Capt. Connyers,” according to
“Grants by the Proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia.” The land lay in Fairfax County, according to Deed Book F, page 187.

On July 10, 1744 John F. Gowen received Grant No. 371 for 144 acres “in a glade near a branch of North Run of Pohick River which corners Robert Carter,” according to “Grants by the Proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia.” It was also located in Fairfax County, according to Deed Book F, page 191. The deeds were recorded in “Patents and Northern Neck Grants of Fairfax County, Virginia.”

“John Goen and Mary, his wife, daughter of Cornelius Keife” sold one half of their homestead in Truro Parish, 268 acres. to Edward Kirkland for “1,100 pounds of tobacco,” June 10, 1746, according to Deed Book B, page 35.

“John Gowen of Truro Parish” sold the 144 acres he had received from the proprietors July 15, 1746 to Bond Veale for oe7:12:6 current money of Virginia plus 500 pounds of Tob.”  [tobacco], according to Fairfax County Deed Book B, page 26.

John F. Gowen and Mary W. Keife Gowen removed to Lunenburg County, Virginia about 1747. They may have been influenced to move there by the parents of Mary W. Keife Gowen who lived across the county line in Brunswick County.

John F. Gowen paid a tax on two tithables in 1748 in the Lunenburg County tax list of Lewis Deloney, according to “Sunlight on the South Side.” page 67. It is possible that John F. Gowen moved on to adjoining Granville County, North Carolina to join his son, William Gowen who owned land there. “John Going” paid tax on one tithable in Granville County about 1749.

It is believed that John F. Gowen and Mary W. Keife Gowen returned to the Northern Neck section of Virginia about 1750.

“John Gown” served in a militia company in Fairfax County under Capt. Bryan Fairfax about 1757 in the French & Indian War, according to “Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers” by Lloyd
Bockstruck. Shortly afterward, they returned south.

“John Gowen of Lunenburg County” received a deed to “100 acres on Dodson’s Branch” from William Stroud February 23, 1760 for oe30, according to Granville County Deed Book C.

They were soon back in Virginia. John F. Gowen was granted 400 acres of land on Reedy Branch of Ruffin’s Creek February 14, 1761, according to Lunenburg County deed records.

John F. Gowen and Mary W. Keife Gowen transferred part of the 400 acres on the same day to two sons.

The first deed, recorded July 7, 1761 in Lunenburg County Deed Book 6, page 379, read:

“John Gowing, Sr. of Lunenburg County, Virginia and Mary, his wife, for the natural love and affection which we bear our beloved son, William Gowing of this county aforesaid–also for divers other causes and considerations, part of 200 acre tract granted by patent aforesaid to John Gowing, Sr., bearing date February 14, 1761 by Gov. Francis Farquier, land on branch called the Great Branch, and the land that the aforesaid William now lives on.”

John F. Gowen and Mary W. Keife Gowen signed the deed in the presence of Pinckney Brown, Susie Hubbard and Sarah Gowen, believed to be their daughter-in-law. On the same day they conveyed a similar portion of land to their son, John F. Gowen, Jr, according to Lunenburg County Deed Book 6.

Witnesses were “Richard Brown, Sarah Going and Elizabeth Going” [believed to be the wife of John F. Gowen, Jr.]

Here the curtain of antiquity drops on John F. Gowen and Mary W. Keife Gowen. No further records have been located that refer to them. It may be assumed that they died in  Lunenburg County and were buried in the vicinity.

Children born to them include:

John F. Gowen, Jr. born about 1730
William Gowen born about 1731
Thomas Gowen born about 1732
Joseph Gowen born about 1735

2)  Annie B. Dobbin Gowens Studied
Family Heritage for 50 Years

By John Witherspoon Gowens II, Ph.D.
A grandson of 5005 Leeshire Trail
Tucker, Georgia, 30084

Annie Brooks Dobbin Gowens, a consummate genealogist,
was one of the first family researchers in Texas. Working
with limited resources in largely rural sections of the state, she
amassed an excellent genealogical collection.

At the time of her death in 1961, she had qualified for membership
in Colonial Dames of the Nation, Colonial Dames of
the XVII Century, Magna Charta Dames, Daughters of the
American Revolution on eight accepted lines, Daughters of the
War of 1812 and United Daughters of the Confederacy [on
two grandfathers and several uncles]. She was the subject of a
section in “Notable Women of Texas” by Ina Mae Ogletree
McAdams published in 1962.

She enthusiastically pursued family lore for 50 years. She
began her family history research in 1911 under most
primitive conditions compared with advantages offered to
genealogists today. She started with a lead pencil that cost a
penny and a Big Chief tablet that cost a nickel.

She did not have the 1850 census, the Soundex or even the
ballpoint pencil. There were no electric typewriters, no copy
machines, no Polaroids, no fax machines, no transistors, no
computers, no modems, no laser printers, no satellite
communications and no surname foundations.

Anna Brooks Dobbin Gowens was born in March 1875 in
Fayette County, Texas. She was married May 7, 1895 to
James Freelove Gowens, a great-grandson of Charles Gowens,
Revolutionary soldier of Henry County, Virginia and Gallatin
County, Kentucky.

Mrs. Gowens researched the life of Charles Gowens. and in a
letter written May 1, 1952, she wrote:

“Charles Gowens, born in 1763 in Henry County, Virginia,
became an expert marksman during the war and retained this
proficiency throughout his lifetime. At the age of 102, in an
exhibition, he brought down a squirrel from the top of a tall
tree with his old muzzle-loader.”

James Freelove Gowens, son of George Gowens and Mary
Baker Gowens, was born September 15, 1869 at Plattsmouth,
Nebraska. Early in his life his parents moved to Iowa, where
he was reared, according to “Reverend John Haynie” by Loyce
Haynie Rossman. He was enumerated in the 1880 census of
Mills County, Iowa as a 10-year-old.

In 1895 he was living in Fredericksburg, Texas where he was
a railroad telegrapher. It was there that he was married to
Annie Brooks Dobbin. James Freelove Gowens was a 32nd
degree Mason, according to “Reverend John Haynie.” In 1900
the couple lived at West Point, Texas in Fayette County. In
1905 they lived in Milam County, Texas. In December 1913
they lived at Cameron, Texas.

The Gowens later lived in Bay City, Texas. They moved to
Del Rio, Texas in the early 1920’s. He died there in 1924.

Mrs. Gowens remained there at 218 East Gibbs Street and
worked for J. C. Penney Company for over 20 years. She died
in Del Rio on July 21, 1961, according to Texas BVS File

Besides her work in genealogy, Annie Brooks Dobbin Gowens
was known for a treasured heirloom, an Oriental silk spread
highly decorated with embroidered flowers, birds, and butterflies.

Its main feature is a bird of paradise surrounded in a
perfect circle by flowers and butterflies in the center.

It contains scores of embroideries, no two are exactly alike.

The spread, reportedly purchased by Jean Lafitte, the pirate, in
the Orient, was brought to his Galveston Island pirate colony,
about 1820. Mrs. Gowens’ grandfather, Robert Hardin Tobin,
bought the spread in 1859, and it became a prized family

At various times the spread was exhibited in the Smithsonian
Institution, the Metropolitan Museums, and at the Chicago
World’s Fair of 1933 and was featured in “The Designer”
magazine in 1905.

The spread and Mrs. Gowens were featured in the August 21,
1949 issue of the “San Antonio Express Magazine.” In 1994,
the spread is owned by a granddaughter, Lou Edith White
Smith of Del Rio.

Children born to James Freelove Gowens and Annie Brooks
Dobbin Gowens include:

Etta Mary Levica Gowens born March 4, 1896
James Haynie Gowens born September 23, 1897
Robert A. Gowens born March 20, 1900
Blackstone White Gowens born December 6, 1905
Annie Louise Hardin Gowens born May 16, 1908
John Witherspoon Gowens born December 18, 1913

3)  Donald Eugene Going Awarded
Carnegie Medal for Heroism

By Martha Elaine Going Thomas
A sister of 303 Conley Road
Hapesville, Georgia, 30354

Donald Eugene Going, following an underground explosion in
a cave at Trenton, Georgia in 1966, was awarded the Carnegie
Medal for Heroism for his efforts in a daring rescue. The 18-
year-old spelunker, with a total disregard for his safety, was
recognized for bravery for his rescue efforts.

While exploring with other members of his college spelunking
club on April 16, 1966, the explosion erupted in a nearby
cave. A group of 10 Boy Scouts with two scoutmasters had
entered the ill-fated cave unaware that a gasoline pipeline had
ruptured and that the cave was being filled with gasoline

Donald Eugene Going, son of William Rufus Going and Dora
Evelyn Elliott Going, was born in Atlanta August 9, 1947.

His father was a decorated veteran of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific
campaign against Japan in World War II. He was a grandson
of James Leonard Going and a g-grandson of William Mack
Isaac Going. He was the g-g-grandson of William George
Washington Going, a veteran of the Seventh South Carolina
Cavalry Regiment in the Civil War. He was the g-g-ggrandson
of Isaac Going and the g-g-g-g-grandson of Drury
Going, Revolutionary soldier of Chester County, South

When the explosion occurred, one scoutmaster and three Boy
Scouts were atop a ledge at one end of a cathedral cavern.

The other members of their party were at the opposite end of
the cavern. At that instant a carbide cap lamp ignited the
gasoline fumes, causing a violent explosion and a huge fireball
throughout the cavern.

The larger party of the Scouts was able to climb a steep slope
at their end of the cavern which led to the mouth of the cave.

The other four were in a precarious position. The smoke and
noxious gases had rendered them unconscious, and they lay
atop the narrow ledge with a 40-foot drop before them and a
long hazardous 225 feet between them and the entrance.

Some would-be rescuers including an 18-year-old local boy,
equipped with flashlights, pulled wet shirts over their faces
and entered the cave and attempted to cross the cathedral.

Don Going and his fellow spelunkers were better equipped;
they entered wearing smoke masks and carrying spare masks
for the victims. Dense water vapor in the cavern rendered the
flashlights ineffective, and the wet shirts did little to filter out
the fumes.

Two of the spelunkers reached the end of the cathedral and
found the local boy, weak and dizzy, trying to climb to the
ledge. Fearing that he would collapse, the spelunkers sent him
back, and he started toward the entrance. The college boys
were successful in reaching the ledge, but were unable to
arouse the unconscious Scouts.

The first party of would-be rescuers were having to turn back
and those entering with smoke masks were obliged to take off
the masks and place them on those who were faltering. Don
Going removed his mask and gave it to a companion who, becoming
delirious, removed it. Going forced it back on the
companion and took him back to the slope where another
rescuer was being raised to the entrance on a rope. After
assisting the man being raised, Going himself slumped down

By that time, a rescue squad wearing gas masks had arrived
and began to take charge. Two of them descended the slope
and fastened a rope around Going who was still unconscious.

He was then pulled out to the entrance. The rescue squad then
brought out the rest of the people in the cave. One of the
college spelunkers and the 18-year-old local boy died in the

Don Going and another college friend were considered dead at
the scene, but were resuscitated and regained consciousness
in a local hospital and recovered. For his efforts in the rescue
Don Going received the Carnegie Medal for Heroism and a
cash award, as did others of the rescuers. In 1994, Don Going
and his son, Jay Going live in Peachtree City, Georgia.


I am researching the George Forrest Goins family. I
believe he was from NC. He was married in 1872 in
Lawrence County, MS to Ann Alma Carr. He may be associated
with the Goins family of Medford, OR. Can anyone
help? Sue Dorman, 507 W. Minnesota, Brookhaven, MS,

==Dear Cousins==

I have come down with a severe case of genealogyitis
and have installed a CDROM on my computer to speed up
the gathering of family data. We are very much looking forward
to the 1995 Foundation Conference in May. The
Newsletter is a gem, and Enclosed is my Contributing Membership
for 1995. Mary Jo Gowan Bray, 5719 E. Aster Dr,
Scottsdale, AZ, 85254.

==Dear Cousins==

I am seeking the parents of my g-grandmother
Mariah/Maria Goins/Goens born November 4, 1856 in Illinois.

She was married about 1875 to William Jennings Dial in
Leavenworth Co, KS. She died January 8, 1917.

In 1870 census “Mariah Goins, 19” was shown as a
housekeeper in the household of Mary Lempesley/Joseph
Walter in Leavenworth County. In 1900 and 1910 census
returns Mariah Goins reported that her father was born in
Kentucky and her mother in Ohio. Most grateful for any help
on Mariah Goins. If any members need research done in
Miami County, OH, I’ll be glad to assist. Terry D. Wright,
645 W. North St, Piqua, OH, 45356, 513/773-9378.

==Dear Cousins==

I have heard wonderful things about your
organization and its success in finding missing ancestors. I am
enclosing our membership application and our ancestor chart
back to Claude [originally Comfort] Goings whom we regard
as a son of Comphort Goings and Elizabeth Starbird Goings of
Shirley, MA.

Claude Goings changed his name from Comfort
Goings during the Civil War. He served in the 8th New
Hampshire Infantry Regiment and was a prolific letter writer.

Many of his letters appeared in “New Hampshire Fights the
Civil War.” He was born February 7, 1836 in Thorndike, ME
and was married in New London, NH September 1857 to
Elizabeth Starbird. He died November 17, 1913 in New
London. We regard Claude Goings as a g-grandson of
Ebenezer and Abigail Gowing of Shirley, MA. Can anyone
help tie all this together? Jean Kimball, 34 Meadowlake
Drive, Mexico, MO, 65365.

==Dear Cousins==

While doing research on my family history, I
discovered that I have a Gowin branch in my family tree. I
was “lurking” on the computer bulletin board when I
“overheard” one person telling another that your Foundation
has the largest collection of Gowin records anywhere. I am
enclosing the records of my branch of the family for your
collection also.

My first Gowin ancestor was Mary Ann Gowin, born
April 1, 1832 in KY. She was married in 1850 in IN to John
Hopson. She died in Jefferson County, MO May 19, 1912.

She was the daughter of James Gowin, born in 1801 in VA,
and Jane True, also born in VA. I would appreciate any
information the Foundation and its members can provide on
my family. Diane M. Howard, 18201 E. Park Dr, Cleveland,
OH, 44119.

==Dear Cousins==

I am seeking information on my g-gm Margaret
Goins who was born in 1822, place and parents unknown,
She was married about 1840 to Lewis W. Bryant who was
born in 1820. He died in 1864, and she died January 9, 1903
in Crenshaw County, AL and was buried there in Panola
Methodist Church Cemetery.

Children born to them include:

Mary Ann Bryant, born April 30, 1857. She was married
about 1876 to William Henry Davis, born February 22, 1851
to Franklin Wesley Davis and Mary Tabitha Schofield Davis
who were married March 9, 1848 in Pike County, Alabama.
Mary Ann Bryant Davis died September 26, 1920, and he died
July 18, 1934. Rex Addison, Rt. 2, Box 277-D, Altha, FL,


Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758 or
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: gowen@llano.net
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Internet:


NOTE:  The above information produced by the Gowen Research Foundation (GRF), and parts of the “Gowen Manuscript” they worked on producing.  It has tons of information – much of it is correct, but be careful, some of it is not correct – so check their sources and logic.  I’ve copied some of their information in the past researching my own family, only to find out there were some clear mistakes.   So be sure to check the information to verify if it is right before citing the source and believing the person who researched it before was 100% correct.  Most of the information I found there seems to be correct, but some is not.

Their website is:  Internet: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf

There does not seem to be anyone “manning the ship” at the Gowen Research Foundation, or Gowen Manuscript site any longer, and there is no way to contact anyone about any errors.   The pages themselves don’t have a mechanism to leave a note for others to see any “new information” that you may have that shows when you find info that shows something is wrong, or when something has been verified.

Feel free to leave messages about any new information found, or errors in these pages, or information that has been verified that those who wrote these pages may not have known about.

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